Newspaper column: Trump immigration plan merits consideration

Trump in Rose Garden introduces immigration revamp plan.

Minutes after President Trump announced in the Rose Garden this past week a plan to revise the priorities under which immigrants are accepted into the United States, Democrats and media outlets were calling his proposal dead on arrival, having no chance of being approved by Congress.

More’s the pity, Trump’s plan, though short on detail, outlines a path that would boost the economy and in the president’s words “establishes a new legal immigration system that protects American wages, promotes American values, and attracts the best and brightest from all around the world.”

Trump’s proposal would leave unchanged the number of people allowed to legally immigrate to this country — 1.1 million a year — but would drastically alter the criteria for entry. He said fully 66 percent of immigrants are added solely because they have a relative in the U.S. Apparently just about any shirttail relative qualifies. Trump would limit relatives to spouses and children.

The president then noted that only 12 percent of legal immigrants are selected based on skill or merit, unlike Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which use merit as the chief criteria for 60 to 75 percent of their legal immigrants.

“The biggest change we make is to increase the proportion of highly skilled immigration from 12 percent to 57 percent, and we’d like to even see if we can go higher,” Trump said, being interrupted by applause. “This will bring us in line with other countries and make us globally competitive.”

Trump said that brilliant foreign graduates of our finest colleges every year are forced to return to their home countries because they have no relatives here to sponsor them. He said we should want exceptional students and workers to stay, flourish and thrive in America.

“As a result of our broken rules, the annual green card flow is mostly low-wage and low-skilled,” Trump said. “Newcomers compete for jobs against the most vulnerable Americans and put pressure on our social safety net and generous welfare programs.”

Should we be inviting people to come here who will be a drain on our economy or who will be a boost?

Trump’s answer to that question, “America’s immigration system should bring in people who will expand opportunity for striving, low-income Americans, not to compete with those low-income Americans.”

His plan, reportedly spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, would create a points-based selection system. Points would be awarded for being a younger worker who could contribute years of revenue for our social safety net. Points would be awarded for having an existing job offer, having a valuable skill, an advanced education and having a plan to create jobs. Also, priority would be given to higher-wage workers who would be self-sufficient.

“Finally, to promote integration, assimilation, and national unity, future immigrants will be required to learn English and to pass a civics exam prior to admission,” Trump insisted.

As for the current problem with illegal immigration and smuggling of contraband, Trump proposes investing in technology that would scan 100 percent of traffic crossing our borders and continue building miles of barriers along the border, saying 400 miles of this barrier should be completed by the end of next year.

The president, again without addressing specifics, called for changing our current law, which provides incentives for smuggling women and children, noting that 65 percent of all border-crossers this year were either minors or adults traveling with minors. He also called for quickly reuniting unaccompanied children with their families in their home countries.

“We must also restore the integrity of our broken asylum system,” Trump stated. “Our nation has a proud history of affording protection to those fleeing government persecutions. Unfortunately, legitimate asylum seekers are being displaced by those lodging frivolous claims — these are frivolous claims — to gain admission into our country.”

He said asylum abuse strains our public school systems, hospitals and shelters, draining funds that should go to helping Americans in poverty, the elderly and at-risk children.

The president’s critics were quick to fault him for not addressing the millions who are already here illegally, as well as those who were brought here illegally as children, the so-called Dreamers. That is easy enough to address. Let them apply for legal entry under the new point-based system.

Trump’s proposition merits serious consideration, not partisan dismissiveness.

A version of this column appeared this week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record — and the Elko Daily Free Press.

13 comments on “Newspaper column: Trump immigration plan merits consideration

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    As usual, you make sense Tom.

  2. Anonymous says:

    No dismissiveness is exactly what it deserves.

    God willing, that is what any proposal from this president, or from the republicans gets until this man, and the current batch of republicans are gone.

  3. […] Source: Newspaper column: Trump immigration plan merits consideration « 4TH ST8 […]

  4. bc says:

    I find it interesting that this administration is looking to do away with family sponsorships. We want folks to come here and be successful but you cannot bring family, family support is how we become successful, especially if you are alone in a foreign land. That is how you set roots and become American and become part of the melting pot. Europe has always treated those from elsewhere as sub human and kept them separate and they wonder why they become radicalized and run over people in a truck. Those who are Islam or other religions here become American like those who came before us and enjoy the freedom to practice their religion in peace.

    And you must speak English before you can step foot here? Since many in Europe speak English as the language of business would not be affected so who will it affect? Well it affects those from Mexico and Central America is who which is the intent. And if it affects some from the mid east, so much the better since we only want folks here who look like us after all. Or as Trump said, “we want folks from Norway to come here.”

    And for those who complain that “my pappy came over from the old country and learned English and so should they”, remember, your pappy did not speak English when he arrived and his pappy that brought him probably never did learn more than enough to get by.

    The racism that has taken over my party of Lincoln completely astounds me.

  5. Anonymous says:

    bc: I hope that you are evidence that not all those claiming to be republicans are racists. But you look around here sometimes and it makes you wonder.

  6. bc says:

    The party has sold our souls and all we believe in for a couple of Supreme Court seats.

    People come here because they hear that there is freedom and the streets are paved with gold. They get here and they find that all they have heard is true, all they have to do is work hard and their children will become Americans and live the American dream. We are the party of self sufficiency, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and making something of yourself. These folks believe the exact same thing, we should be welcoming them into the party but we are aligning ourselves with the racists and Trump and rejecting folks that believe as we do. We will loose in the not very long run when the party fades away as we all age and the young folks coming up reject the racism the party represents.

  7. bc says:

    We have sold our souls for a couple of Supreme Court seats.

    These are folks that come here because they hear that there is freedom and that the streets are paved with gold. They get here and see that it is all true, all they have to do is work hard and their children will become Americans and live the American Dream.

    We are the party of self-sufficiency; pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make something of yourself. These people by and large think the same thing but since we have aligned ourselves with Trump and the racist around him we reject the very people who believe the same as we do.

    The party will lose in the long run as we older folks age and fade away, the young who are coming up will reject the racism the party represents and the Republican party will cease to be relevant.

  8. bc says:

    Sorry, thought it didn’t post the first time

  9. Anonymous says:

    Anything worth saying once is worth saying twice as I always say…twice.

    And that was worth saying. Twice

  10. Anonymous says:

    Republicans and Democrats are pandering to their extremists.
    And both are losing numbers as more and more who are sick of the rhetoric go non partisan.

    Republicans and Democrats are rapidly becoming less and less relevant.

  11. Steve says:

    Oops, again.

  12. Athos says:

    So now it’s racist to want to people who truly want to be a part of America? And it’s racist not to want the people that go on welfare and I want to tear down this country and destroy his constitution and live under sharia law?

    And furthermore it’s racist to put an end to people that bring 30 members of their family to all live on the government dole? And asked me and my kids as hard-working taxpayers to foot the bill?

    And it’s racist to not want people bringing diseases into our country that were Eliminated 30, 40 and 50 years ago?

    Sorry fellas. I do not except your definition of racism. You fellas should really get your facts straight pull your heads out of your nether regions and do a little better job of self-preservation.

  13. bc says:

    Athos,
    Most of the folks who come to America come here to become Americans and to have their children grow up to be Americans. All that I have known who came here from other countries, including Mexico, work hard to support their families just as I do and I assume you do. Some are quite successful and build companies that hire others to work for them as well. They do not live on the dole and are not on welfare.

    There is no call to bring Sharia law into America. Show me where there is.

    Diseases? I will not dignify that with an answer.

    So I take it that when Trump announced his candidacy by stating that all Mexicans were rapists and murderers, you knew you had found your man. Trump is a racist who brings dishonor to his office and the party that elected him. When he is finished we will be lucky if a Republican can be elected as dogcatcher.

    And the answer to your question is yes, it is racist to bring up such flimsy excuses and reasons to end immigration.

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